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The cheapest beer on tap does not make a pleasing addition to the surface of the dark table. Despite the hastily applied napkin, the puddle grows and spills over the edge like a waterfall until it reaches the casino floor.

"I'm so sorry, Bianca! I don't know what happened. It just jumped out of my hand. Can I help you clean your dress?"

I have to push her hand away to stop her from sticking the already beer-soaked napkin onto the tiniest spot of liquid on my skirt. "No, Divya, it's fine. I'll just go get something to clean this up with, okay?"

Her lip protrudes so far I wonder if she'll injure herself. "Are you sure? I don't want you to miss the fun!"

"I'm the designated driver, remember?"

"We don't need a designated driver when no one has to drive, silly." The giggle grates on my ear like a fork scratching porcelain.

Well, they might not need a driver, but someone has to keep the group in line. And calling myself the designated driver means I get free soda all night, so I'm sticking with it.

The room is packed with muscly men and suave women dressed in something that would probably cover a two year old, but they somehow all seem to be having fun. Dealers call out for bets and lights flash from slot machines as I squeeze through a few tight spots only to narrowly avoid being hit by a fierce blow intended for a man much larger than I.

It's no quieter once I reach the bar, so I have to shout to be heard. "Excuse me? Can I get a towel or a few hundred napkins to clean up my friends' mess?"

The bartender turns around, draping a towel over his shoulder and setting a cup down on the counter. "You with the bachelorette party?"

"Which one?"

He doesn't laugh. "You are then."

The fact that we are 'that bachelorette party' brings a heat to my face and makes me want to shrink into the floor, so I just nod, rather than attempting to speak.

"I'll come over with some water. I'll clean it up for you."

"Oh, you really don't have to do that, I can—"

"Really, I do have to. It's my job."

"Well, okay then." He calls out to the other bartender and then presses past me, knocking me off balance and causing me to stumble into the party behind me, resulting in yet another drink down my back.

"Oh this night is just wonderful." I can't stop the words from coming out of my mouth.

"Look, you ran into me, lady," the guy from behind me slurs.

"Sorry. I didn't mean you. I'm sorry for spilling your drink. Umm, can I replace it for you?"

The woman he's with steps up beside him, threading her arm around his shoulder and standing on her toes to seem taller. "No. No, you may not." She sizes me up like a wild animal at the watering hole, so I do what any self-preserving prey would do. I turn and run.

Past the table filled with my laughing friends and the plastered on smile of the clearly-irritated bartender. Past the other bachelorette party all dressed in orange, and past the group of guys near the door who are apparently auditioning for a Bond film.

I'll have to make sure to steer clear of them.

My sky-high heels click against the sparkling floor of the lobby as soon as I exit the carpeted casino, sending reverberations all through the vaulted ceilings of the empty open space. The clicking only gets louder as I run for the elevator and slip inside, fumbling around in my purse for the room key.

Vegas Knot (✔️) | Love Travels #1Where stories live. Discover now